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“Fundraising for Urahama Folk Performing Arts Center” by Michiko Chida



Sorry for this late announcement.

Kodo set up collection boxes in the exhibition corner at Asakusa Public Hall during the “Mystery” performances in July. The total of the donations collected was 10,406 yen.
We sent the donations to Urahama Nenbutsu Kenbai & Kanatsu-ryu Yanagawa Shishi Odori, telling them that it was from Kodo’s audience. Thank you very much to everyone who generously donated to this cause.

We would appreciate it if you would tell your friends about this project, too.

Kodo is still collecting donations for this project via a collection box at the Sado Island Taiko Centre (Tatakokan). If you visit the Centre, please bring some coins or notes and show your support!


In the video above, you can see how the area looked in 2011 after the Tohoku Pacific Earthquake.

It talks about what they lost, and why they needed to keep their traditions alive, especially at a time when life became difficult and everyone faced so many obstacles.

This video is from March 2014, three years on from the Tohoku Pacific Earthquake. It shows Shishiodori and Kenbai, which were performed to pray for the lives lost in the disaster. And you can see the local children who are the future of this area. This building will help uphold the traditional performing arts of this area, so they will be passed down to future generations. It will also be a place for exchange, bringing together people connected by the natural disaster.

We really appreciate your support and generosity.
About Fundraising for Urahama Folk Performing Arts Center (in Japanese)

Kodo Website | Heartbeat Projectheartbeat_project_logo

“Kodo Apprentice Recital: Okinawan Dance ‘Muribushi'” by Michiko Chida

Aug. 1, 2014

Kodo Apprentice Recital: Okinawan Dance Muribushi

Photo: Erika Ueda

The 2nd year apprentices spent one month learning Okinawan dance Muribushi, during this hot summer season. Today, they performed it for all the Kodo members and staff.

Okinawan dance expert Mitsue Kinjo has been teaching our apprentices for the last twenty years. By learning this unique, traditional Okinawan dance style, the apprentices are taught a fundamental attitude towards learning things. This is a timeless lesson.

“When you aim to create something new, first you have to take something in and absorb it within yourself. Then, something will be created from that. A new creation will come from something that takes root inside you and breathes. It is not something that you try to show or make decorative.”

Mitsue works hard with apprentices, actually, even harder than the apprentices, using her body and voice to passionately show and convey to them the importance of creating your own core.

Photo: Erika Ueda

I am sure that when the Kodo members, and the staff who were formerly apprentices, watch this annual recital that are reminded of their own time practicing as apprentices, frantically trying to use their bodies and minds well.

Photo: Erika Ueda


So, how were they today?

“Your hearts were all together, as one. You really did your best.”

After gruelling practices, Mitsue’s warm words echoed in the apprentices’ hearts. No one was selfish at all, and as individuals they all pulled together to perform together, which created such great power. Maybe today they understood the true meaning of Muribushi at last, which translates as “a group of stars.”

A Visit from Mr. & Mrs. Ichizawa of Kyoto Ichizawa Shinzaburo Hanpu

Photo: Taro Nishita

Mr. and Mrs. Ichizawa of Kyoto Ichizawa Shinzaburo Hanpu, the makers of some special Kodo and EC merchandise, visited Kodo Village. They currently have a stall at a department store fair in Niigata, so they came a little way further to Sado to see us.

They have been working with Kodo for almost 20 years, but this was their very first visit to Sado Island. They were pleased to hear a sound of higurashi, an evening cicada, which can hardly be heard in Kyoto anymore.
We have some close friends in common with them, so they had a good catch up with Takao Aoki, the president of Kitamaesen Co., Ltd.

Ichizawa Shizaburo Hanpu: http://www.ichizawa.co.jp/en/


“Kodo x Shinzaburo Hanpu Collaboration Bag”

“EC Rehearsals Resume!” by Satoshi Nakano

Aug. 9, 2014Photo: Erika Ueda

Upon returning from our summer vacation, we had rehearsals for “Daichi / Earth,” the Shiroyama Concert that will take place on the second day of Earth Celebration 2014.

Photo: Erika UedaPhoto: Erika Ueda

Photo: Erika UedaPhoto: Erika Ueda

The booming sound of the taiko echoes to your core. It really is a festival of the earth, just like the title suggests.

It’s only 2 weeks until EC begins and everyday we are working on contents to get it ready for the stage.

Photo: Erika Ueda

Photo: Erika Ueda
Photo: Jun AkimotoPhoto: Erika Ueda


Shiroyama Concerts 2014

EC Shiroyama Concert Rehearsals for Day 3’s ‘Shukusai / Celebration’” by Jun Akimoto

Aug. 7, 2014

Photo: Takashi OkamotoPhoto: Jun Akimoto

On August 1, we had rehearsals for the Aug. 24 Shiroyama Concert finale “Shukusai / Celebration.” The artistic director for this performance is Yosuke Oda and his ideas are taking shape.

Photo: Jun Akimoto


The “Shukusai” performance will feature both guest artists BLUE TOKYO and DAZZLE. It is going to be a power-packed concert with all of the performers and instruments sharing the same stage!

The finale for Earth Celebration will be a colorful extravaganza! We hope you’re looking forward to it!

Shiroyama Concerts 2014

EC Shiroyama Concert Rehearsals for ‘DAICHI / EARTH’!” by Jun Akimoto

July 31, 2014

Earth Celebration Shiroyama Concerts
Rehearsals for Day 2 “DAICHI/EARTH”

Photo: Jun Akimoto


Today we are having rehearsals for the Aug. 23 Shiroyama Concert “DAICHI / EARTH,” directed by Tsuyoshi Maeda. The rehearsal hall is filled with new sounds and interesting ideas. The artistic direction is really going to make the most of the outdoor concert atmosphere.

Photo: Erika UedaPhoto: Jun Akimoto

Before long, the guest artists will join us on Sado for rehearsals. I can’t wait to see the performance at Shiroyama Park!

EC 2014 Shiroyama Concerts

Performance at “Hakusan-maru Matsuri” Eve Festival

Performance at “Hakusan-maru Matsuri” Eve Festival

Photo: Erika UedaPhoto: Erika UedaPhoto: Erika Ueda

The “Hakusan-maru,” a large gallant ship from the final years of the Edo Era, is resident at the Sado Ogi Folk Museum in Shukunegi on Sado Island.

On July 26, Kodo gave a performance on the eve of the annual festival held in its honor, “Hakusan-maru Matsuri,” right in front of the ship! Isn’t she grand?

Thank you very much to everyone who came along!

Photo: Erika Ueda


July 26, 2014 Hakusan-maru Matsuri Eve Festival (Sado Is., Niigata)

“Update from Asakusa” by Naomi Iseki

Update from Asakusa

From July Issue of Japanese Monthly Newsletter “Kodo”


In June, thanks to the cooperation of many locals and numerous others we held five successful performances in Asakusa. Thank you for your support, everyone!

Just like last year, this year there was an array of stalls from shops in Taito Ward set up in the lobby. This kind of lobby setup is unusual on a Kodo tour and quite unique to our Asakusa performances. The shop clerks wore matching happi (workman’s coats) and their presence made the theater atmosphere very lively.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

On the first floor, we had an exhibition and also set up a corner where people could play taiko. It provided a chance for many people to play our drums. I hope that the people who had never played taiko before felt a stronger connection to the drums through their hands-on experience.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

This time, we also had School Workshop Performances at two schools in Asakusa. For some Kodo members, it was their first time to perform at a school with Kodo. It was such an enjoyable time for all of us to be surrounded by the children with their pure hearts and smiles.

Photo: Takashi OkamotoPhoto: Takashi Okamoto

School Workshop Performance in Asakusa


We performed two pieces in front of Asakusa Public Hall in the “Star Plaza” (Walk of Fame) area. Before we performed outside, I went around the locals to let them know we would be doing this and they said “Play taiko as much as you like!” “I’m looking forward to it!,” etc. Then, they even came along to watch us during the outside performance, so I was so happy! On the final day it was drizzling, but when we started to perform Yui,, the sun shined on the performers. I will never forget that moment.

Our Asakusa performances were a success thanks to the help of so many people. During Asakusa’s annual festival Sanja Matsuri, the sound of live music accompanies the portable shrines as they make their way along the streets. Based at Kodo’s Tokyo Office, I will continue to work hard in the hopes that the sound of Kodo’s taiko will also be something the locals in Asakusa look forward to hearing every year!

“Spain & France ‘DADAN’ Tour Finale”

July 25, 2014 Torroella de Montgrí, Girona, Spain

Photo: Mio Teycheney

The “DADAN” tour had its final performance in Torroella de Montgrí, Girona, Spain. We were welcomed by a packed audience, making for a wonderful finale for us all. Thank you very much to everyone who came along!

photo 11

After the performance, we had the usual international-cargo packing to do, so we pooled our strength and worked through it all as a team.

Photo: Mio Teycheney

Our agent Isabel, our technical director Martin, and our truck driver Freddie provided us with such steady support throughout our tour.

Photo: (From left) Tour manager Takashi Akamine, agent Isabel Gonzalez, technical director Martin Lechner, and truck driver Freddie Gijsbers.

Photo: Mio Teycheney

A smiley shot with the theater staff. After this, we all went cheerfully back to Japan.


The fresh new “DADAN” programme, arranged especially for this tour, has been constantly fuelled by the energy of our audiences in Spain and France, and will continue to evolve more and more in the future!
Thank you all! Muchas gracias! Merci beaucoup!

DADAN Tour Staff

Photo: Takashi Okamoto
Kodo “DADAN” Spain & France Performances

“Kozan Matsuri 2014” by Mitsunaga Matsuura

Performance at Kozan Matsuri 2014 on Sado Island

Photo: Taro Nishita

On July 27, Kodo performed at Sado’s annual summer festival “Kozan Matsuri.” Usually we appear in an event featuring just Kodo followed by fireworks, but this year Negicco, Chie Ayado, and Kiyotaka Sugiyama also made appearances.

Photo: Taro NishitaPhoto: Taro Nishita

Kodo’s performance took place at Aikawa Gymnasium in front of a large audience of around 1,500 people.

Photo: Taro Nishita

Due to unstable weather conditions, the fireworks display was postponed until the next day, but the festival crowd was suitably enlivened by the “explosion” of taiko beats and the confetti that burst out from Mariko Omi’s fans.

July 27, 2014 Kodo Performance at “Kozan Matsuri” (Sado Island, Niigata)

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